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1 Lions star ranked among PFF’s top 101 players (no, not Matthew Stafford)

ALLEN PARK — A fifth-round pick. That’s all the Detroit Lions had to give up for what turned out to be their greatest participant of the season.

That’s in accordance to ProFootballFocus, anyway. The sophisticated analytics site has released its checklist of the prime 101 players from final season, and Snacks Harrison was Detroit’s only consultant. He put 40th.

Harrison started final season with the Giants, but the club started offloading income immediately after a gradual commence. And that was to the Lions’ undeniable profit. They gave up just a fifth-round pick to receive Harrison, who was PFF’s No. 1 operate defender at the time — and went on to complete the season as the No. 1 operate defender.

The Lions’ defense was final towards the operate for the duration of the 1st thirty day period of the season. In 10 game titles immediately after the trade for Harrison, they rated fourth in rushing yardage permitted, and second in yards for each have permitted. They concluded the season 10th in overall hurry defense, their greatest perch given that 2014.

In other text, Harrison trade served altered the full trajectory of this defense. And with his contract functioning through 2020, that delivers Detroit with an outstanding anchor all over which to construct for the upcoming.

“Damon Harrison has prolonged been 1 of the elite inside defenders in the NFL and 2018 was no unique,” PFF wrote. “His operate defense grade of 93.8 rated 1st out of 128 qualifying inside defenders. With 46 operate stops on 288 operate defense snaps, Harrison rated 1st in operate-halt proportion (16.) at the place.”

Harrison concluded the calendar year with 81 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 1 pressured fumble. He rated as the No. 1 inside participant towards the operate, in accordance to PFF, and third overall, trailing only Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox. Donald went on to earn defensive participant of the calendar year, and was named the No. 1 overall participant in the league for a second straight calendar year in accordance to PFF.

Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins was No. 2, though Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Cox rounded out the prime 5.

In 2017, Detroit put three players on the checklist: Security Glover Quin (60th), cornerback Darius Slay (62nd) and receiver Golden Tate (88th).

Check out the whole 2018 rating below.

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